To improve Mainers’ access to sexual and reproductive health care during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, Maine Family Planning is resuming routine in-office care while continuing to offer expanded telehealth services for new and current patients statewide.

Early findings suggest the COVID-19 pandemic is already affecting people’s sexual and reproductive health experiences.

According to national polling, the majority of U.S. adults say now is not the time for them to become pregnant — underscoring the importance of meaningful access to birth control and family planning care while people grapple with changing economic circumstances and other stressors.

Furthermore, rates of sexually transmitted infections were climbing even before the pandemic and experts fear that the disruption caused by COVID-19 will further exacerbate this public health issue.

Meanwhile, abortion care and transgender health care are time-sensitive services that should be accessible when, where and with a provider with whom patients feel most comfortable.

It’s clear that in this moment, people need more avenues to access to basic health care, not less. That’s why MFP is following expert guidelines to offer safe in-person appointments at 18 clinics statewide as well as telehealth visits to ensure patients can get the affordable, gender-affirming, high-quality care they need to build the families and futures they envision—on their terms.

Through MFP’s Virtual Visits platform, new and current patients can schedule appointments, talk to experts, and receive private counseling, diagnosis, and treatment (including prescriptions) via smartphone, computer, or tablet. Same-day appointments are available Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

During a telehealth visit, a patient and provider may decide that an in-person visit is necessary for further evaluation or treatment.

All 18 MFP clinics (Augusta, Bangor, Belfast, Calais, Damariscotta, Dexter, Ellsworth, Farmington, Fort Kent, Houlton, Lewiston, Machias, Norway, Presque Isle, Rockland, Rumford, Skowhegan and Waterville) are open and following public health guidelines to keep patients and staff safe.

MFP provides a wide range of services to Maine adults and teens, including:

• Birth control counseling and prescriptions

• Emergency contraception

• Treatment for uncomplicated Urinary Tract Infections and vaginal infections

• Breast and cervical cancer screenings

• Abortion care

• STI prevention, testing and treatment

• HIV testing and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)

• Transgender health services

• Preconception counseling

• Pregnancy options counseling

• Wellness visits

All of these services are available in-person and most are also offered via telehealth.

All MFP clinics accept MaineCare and many other types of insurance. Some patients may qualify for the state’s Limited Family Planning Benefit, which provides free care to people with individual incomes of less than $26,729 per year. MFP sees patients regardless of ability to pay and also offers a sliding fee scale.

Learn more or chat with MFP staff at 922-3222 or MaineFamilyPlanning.org.